Anthony Gomes – Peace, Love, and Loud Guitars
Up 2 Zero Entertainment/MAPL
CD: 12 Songs, 52:27 Minutes
Styles: Contemporary Electric Blues Rock, All Original Songs
“Hot sauce.” “Ice-cold Coca-Cola.” “Free adult beverages.” When a sign or slogan promises something, it had better deliver. When Canada’s Anthony Gomes promises Peace, Love, and Loud Guitars, no one on earth would sue him for false advertising. The album is jam-packed with all three things, featuring empowering messages that wisely take a back seat to the medium: i.e., the loud guitars shine first and foremost. Fans of classic/pure blues might frown when they discover that Gomes leans far to the rock side of blues rock. However, he makes up for this possible shortcoming with excellent songwriting. All twelve tracks are original, and not only that, they are incredibly well-arranged. In this age of autotune and rhythms chosen by algorithm, these refreshing pluses will catapult Anthony’s latest to the top of the blues rock charts in no time flat. When it comes to Gomes’ vocals, he’s Rod Stewart on steroids with a dash of whiskey. Supported by a Greek chorus of background singers (listed in the “Cast of Characters” section of the CD liner notes), Gomes gets in one’s face and ears with his take-no-prisoners style.
Gomes (rhymes with “homes”) is the Stephen King of the blues rock world in terms of prolific production and critical acclaim. He’s produced eleven full-length albums, and five of his most recent have appeared in the Top 10 on the Billboard blues charts. Live, his 2008 release, debuted at #1. Ten years later, he’s more than ready to repeat that feat. Anthony is also a blues scholar and historian and founded the Music is the Medicine organization in 2010, providing grants and scholarships to budding artists in need.
The short version of the “Cast of Characters” for this album is as follows: leading man Gomes on vox and guitar; Mike Brignardello on bass, Greg Morrow on drums and percussion; David Smith on keyboards; Chris Leuzinger on acoustic guitar, and Angie Primm, Gale Stuart, Devonne Fowlkes, and A.G. himself on backup vocals. Check out “Gang Vocals” for many more credits.
From start to finish, Anthony and company bowl listeners over, and these three songs prove it.
Track 01: “Come Down” – A foot-stomping ode to B.B. King, the album’s opener contains one of the catchiest choral intros of 2018. Harmonious and high-energy, it’ll get people singing along even if their pipes are a little rusty. “There’s no one here that can wear your crown,” Gomes proclaims in regards to his idol. “Fly on down on an angel’s wing; tell Lucille it’s time to sing!” A flawless mixture of gospel and blues rock, “Come Down” is a surefire attention-grabber.
Track 05: “The Whiskey Made Me Do It” – Folks, alcohol makes you lose your inhibitions, but it can also make you lose your inhibitions if you’re not careful. That’s what this Chicago-style shuffle aims to tell you. Our hero ends up kissing his girlfriend’s sister, doing more than that, and ending up in a jail cell (after being sentenced by his gal’s father, a judge). “Drinking triple, seeing double, acting single – now I’m in trouble!” Truer words were never spoken.
Track 09: “Your Mama Wants to Do Me (And Your Daddy Wants to Do Me In)” – A guilty-pleasure tune if there ever was one, naughty number nine is worth more than one listen for this line alone: “Good girls go to heaven; bad girls go backstage.” Yow! More great harmonies are on the way here, plus a wicked guitar solo.
Peace, Love and Loud Guitars delivers what it promises – in spades!